IBM has restructured its senior management in a move set to consolidate its marketing, sales and channel strategy across the world under the title Global Services. The changes are part of chairman Lou Gerstner?s plans to re-invent IBM as a monolithic operation, although the IBM PC Co will be unaffected by the changes.
Lucio Stanca, chairman of IBM Europe, will now also look after IBM?s worldwide online and channel operations. William Etherington, former US general manager of IBM industry specific marketing will take over the post as general manager of operations in the Emea group. John W. Thompson, former GM of the personal software unit group, which masterminded OS/2, will take over Etherington?s post in the US.
The moves are promotions, according to a source at the company. He said: ?The word on the street is it?s a step up for Etherington. They?ve brought a guy across from the US to do Europe which is a common thing to do for up-and-coming Americans. It?s also a promotion for Stanca.? Lou Gerstner, he said, wanted to globalise all IBM operations. ?Don?t forget next year that the S/390 will be sold through business partners too,? he said. ?The word mainframe is not in favour while calling it a 390 server a Spice Girls sort of phrase.?
This year has already seen moves by IBM to create a global unit. At its Business Partners conference in San Diego in February, Gerstner told senior IBM executives and channel partners that he would push toward a global model selling through channel partners. Later on this year, the IBM AIX group took over European AIX operations. At the same time Big Blue moved to introduce common terms and conditions, where possible, across all geographies.
Steve Voller, UK channels sales manager, said: ?Global Services will be a major services provider regardless of platform. The services business is already strong following the acquisition of Data Sciences and the other route to market is through channels.? Voller said that IBM will continue to operate the PC Company as a separate unit.
Stanca will have responsibility for both IBM Direct and its global channel operations, said Voller. But the IBM Direct catalogue operation was more of a demand generation than fulfilment. He claimed that ?99 per cent? of leads were now passed through IBM business partners.
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